No matter what bariatric surgery one has, people who have weight loss surgery need to monitor their nutritional intake and oftentimes may require special dietary supplements. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, 150,000-160,000 people each year have weight loss surgery procedures.
This study looked at 23 different patients who had gastric banding surgery, a procedure where an adjustable band is placed at top of the stomach that creates a small stomach pouch. The study found that even after having nutritional counseling for three months after surgery, many patients still had nutritional deficiencies. 86% did not get the recommended amounts of both Calcium and
Vitamin D and many also didn’t get enough protein making them slightly anemic.
The researchers looked at patients with a mean age of 49.3 years and with 91% women for a period of 12 weeks. Each patient was evaluated on a biweekly individual dietary and behavioral counseling. Patients were instructed to limit energy intake and to follow specific dietary recommendations that were established by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
Food intake was looked at on a 3-day record as baseline and at 6 and 12 weeks too.
Baseline evaluation showed that over 50% of these patients had insufficient dietary intakes of 13 nutrients, had too much salt in their body and drew their energy from saturated and/or trans-fat acids.
The study’s author, Dr. Abhimanyo Garg, believes that patients need to not only take supplements, but also have continuous diet counseling and evaluation. This study was published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine. Dr. Michael Lee, director of metabolic and bariatric surgery at UT Southwestern believes that this study reinforces the need for lifestyle changes.
The study suggested several ways for patients to keep their bodies the healthiest after having surgery. Some of these suggestions include protein-rich foods and increased intakes of vitamins and minerals. Fatty fish are also good to eat as they give patients the essential Omega-3 fatty acids. An adequate intake of fruits and vegetables, nuts and whole grains are also important to ensure fiber intake is adequate. Also, all processed foods should be eliminated to reduce sodium intake, which was a major problem with patients evaluated in this study.
Typically patients are evaluated closely to weight their nutritional impact risks of bariatric surgery. Patients are often carefully screened, counseled and monitored in other to guard them against nutritional deficiencies.
The problem lies that many believe that gastric banding is a less invasive bariatric surgery options, so patients should be fine. These researchers believe that nutritional counseling should occur more than 12 weeks for Gastric Banding patients. The emphasis should be on consuming foods that meet nutrient requirements and taking vitamin, mineral, protein and omega-3 fat supplements daily.
Ultimately this study by Dr. Garg and his researchers reduce the importance of patient selection and education in choosing the right surgery and put the attention on close follow-up, no matter what surgery is chosen.